The Benefits of Site-to-Site Data Replication for Customers and Web Hosts Alike

Posted by Mary McCoy on May 13, 2015 11:00:00 AM


Backup is in and of itself a contingency plan, and it can get confusing when we start throwing around terms like data replication. How is that any different than backup, which is literally copying data and storing it somewhere else?

If your clients are already backing up data locally, they may think they’re covered, and it’s up to you to convince them otherwise. At the same time, you can’t assume your own data center is invincible. Do you have a second layer of defense for the copied data you’re already storing should IT hit the fan?

Both here at R1Soft and at our parent company Continuum Managed Services, LLC, we're always focused on helping our partners understand and sell to small- and mid-sized companies. So how do you move the needle and get customers to bite, and how does data replication help protect and grow your own business? Here are the top four benefits of site-to-site data replication...

1. Reliability - Disaster Recovery for Local & Offsite Backup

The Benefits of Data Redundancy for the SMB:

Small-to-medium-sized businesses often prefer to rely on local backup because it provides them with full control of their sensitive data and gives them the power to determine who in their company can access it. This data is encrypted and protected by their companies' firewalls and internal security policies so they tend to believe it's safer.

But what happens when something goes awry at their physical location? What becomes of this data? Similarly, say they have a disgruntled employee that compromises their device. How then does the company recover?

When SMBs choose to backup their data both locally and offsite, they insure themselves against the pitfalls of only using storage on-premise. They have the original data, the copy of that data stored on local hardware and a second copy of that same data housed in a public cloud in an offsite data center. If something happens to the onsite copy, they can simply access the necessary information online. This backup backup plan is a huge selling point and one you should be marketing to your prospect base!

How Web Hosts Can Take Data Replication One Step Further:

The same argument applies for web hosts, especially for those whose clients don’t have a backup device onsite. If your customers are relying on you entirely for easy secure access of their company data, you will also want a backup backup plan. What if your data center burns down or suffers a service disruption? With site-to-site replication, you can backup customer data to a second data center. With this added layer of data redundancy, you will mitigate the damage in a disaster situation.

2. Business Continuity Means Less Downtime & Fewer Unsatisfied Customers

Partnering with You Helps Their Bottom Line:

Just as losing data is devastating to SMBs, wasting valuable time and resources attempting to recover that data can be the kiss of death for businesses as well. Offsite replication minimizes downtime. If there is an onsite disaster and local hardware is destroyed, your clients won't drain business cycles trying to compensate for it. You are able to restore their data back to its production-ready state. They are able to rely on the copy you've backed up for them offsite, without having to worry about data loss. Also, for those of you that are able to support offsite cloud storage, your customers can easily access their data from any device as long as it's connected to the Internet. They will appreciate this extra convenience. 

How Web Hosts Can Protect Their Reputation by Delivering Customer Satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is at the core of your business. If you lose their data in one of the disaster situations described above, you’ll likely also lose their business and their referral. How many people do you think they’ll recommend your services to if their data is jeopardized and there is nothing you can do about it? You’re in the business of selling trust and security. That’s why you should also replicate this data in a second offsite data center. This is especially important if your customers don’t have a local backup system in place and use only your servers to store their sensitive information. Making sure you protect their bottom line by keeping them up, running and profitable will only help you grow your own business. This backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan is true business continuity at work!  

3. Defense against Compliance Audits

Your clients may even be in an industry with its own set of compliance standards and requirements. For example, if any of your customers are in the healthcare industry, they’re subject to HIPAA compliance and can face business-crippling legal ramifications if there’s a data breach and they’re audited. If you have that added layer of protection and are storing medical records and other personally identifiable information (PII) on your servers, you can save them from going under should their own backup fail. This is a huge site-to-site replication selling point for web hosts. Similarly, if customers do not have their own backup technology or calamity befalls your data center, having redundant data backed up at a second offsite location keeps you compliant as a business associate. 

4. An Added Layer of Storage is More Scalable and Cost Efficient

Think about how much data your clients accumulate. How could they possibly archive all of this information and keep it on-premise for years at a time? Their data accumulates so quickly, it is not scalable to keep purchasing more local storage. Your clients simply cannot afford it, especially when they’ve already spent tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on the initial hardware alone.

Instead, they can take advantage of your cloud's unlimited capacity and migrate their data there. As a result, they won't have to worry about exorbitant costs and slowed down internal processes. Offsite backup is automated. Rather than have their inhouse IT representative manually backup each file, your clients can improve business efficiency by sending data straight to the cloud.

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Meet Mary! Mary McCoy is Continuum’s resident Inbound Marketing Specialist and social media enthusiast. She recently graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) with a BA in Economics and served as digital marketing intern for Citi Performing Arts Center (Citi Center), spearheading the nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday social media campaign. Like her school’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, Mary believes learning never ends. She considers herself a passionate, lifelong student of content creation and inbound marketing.

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Topics: Backups, data protection, data recovery, server backup

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